Happiness Is The Lord

By  Ira F. Stanphill


Happiness is to know the Savior,
Living a life within His favor,
Having a change in my behavior,
Happiness is the Lord.

Happiness is a new creation,
Jesus and me in close relation,
Having a part in His salvation,
Happiness is the Lord.

Real joy is mine, no matter if teardrops start;
I’ve found the secret, it’s Jesus in my heart!

Happiness is to be forgiven,
Living a life that’s worth the living,
Taking a trip that leads to Heaven,
Happiness is the Lord,
Happiness is the Lord,
Happiness is the Lord!

Ira F. Stanphill was born in Belview, New Mexico, in 1914. He has written more than 550 songs, the most popular of which are “Mansion over the Hilltop,” “Room at the Cross,” and, of course, “Happiness Is the Lord.”

His songwriting on many occasions took place in unusual places, but one of huis methods involved with the people of a local congregation. He would at the beginning of a service ask the people to hand in phrases that they thought would be good titles for Christian songs. During the service, while others were singing or speaking, he would write a song using one of the titles submitted by the congregation. He would then sing the song before the service was dismissed.

On any number of occasions the Lord has given a song to a songwriter when he or she least expected it. Such was the case of Ira Stanphill one afternoon in 1974 after he left the church office where he was pastor in Fort Worth, Texas.

The car radio was on, and as he rode along he listened to some commercial programs. Some were sponsored by establishments that advertised their happy hour and their alcoholic beverages. He also heard cigarettes being advertised in terms of how they bring happiness.

The word happiness was used several times in the ads. Ira related to me that he thought at the time that happiness does not come with these things, but with knowing Christ. He continued, As this thought really took over my mind I began to sing. I sang a new song, composing words and melody as I drove along. I sang it almost as it is published today – (Linsay Terry).

A few thoughts about the lyrics
In the lyrics, Stanphill explains the happiness that comes to a Christian as his behavior is changed and as he begins to live in the favor with the Lord. The theme of the first verse is To Know the Saviour. In the bridge of the song Stanphill explains that real joy can be possible for a Christian, even in the face of sadness or distress. He speaks of the Christian life as “a relationship with the Lord” as we make this trip that leads to heaven.

If only everyone in this world would know the joy that comes through having a personal relationship with Christ. Because one of the most sought after things in the lives of people is personal joy. But true happiness can only come as we know the savior.

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